a plant that grows above the ground, supported nonparasitically by another plant or object, and deriving its nutrients and water from rain, the air, dust, etc.; air plant; aerophyte.
- ep·i·phyt·ic [ep-uh-fit-ik], /ˌɛp əˈfɪt ɪk/, ep·i·phyt·i·cal, adjective
- ep·i·phyt·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use epiphyte in a sentence
Among the plant-treasure from India, Australia and Malaya were large numbers of epiphytic orchids.
Tillandsia, ti-land′zi-a, n. a genus of mainly epiphytic plants of the pine-apple family (Bromeliace).
Those are epiphytic orchids—air-plants, you know: they require no earth for their roots: they live on the air.
British Dictionary definitions for epiphyte
a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic on it
- epiphytic (ˌɛpɪˈfɪtɪk), epiphytal or epiphytical, adjective
- epiphytically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for epiphyte
A plant that grows on another plant and depends on it for support but not food. Epiphytes get moisture and nutrients from the air or from small pools of water that collect on the host plant. Spanish moss and many orchids are epiphytes. Also called aerophyte air plant
- epiphytic adjective (ĕp′ə-fĭt′ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.